Exchange of information

First edition of Tax Transparency in Latin America report outlines growing role of tax transparency and exchange of information in helping Latin American governments fight financial crimes and mobilise resources


12/07/2021 – Published today, Tax Transparency in Latin America 2021 is a key output of the Punta del Este Declaration, a Latin American initiative to tackle tax evasion, corruption and other financial crimes through transparency and exchange of information (EOI) for tax purposes.

The report analyses the magnitude of offshore tax evasion in relation to tax collection and explores the role of tax transparency and international tax co-operation in helping governments fight tax evasion and other illicit financial flows to generate much needed revenues in times of COVID-19 and beyond. Sixteen Latin American countries are covered.

“Latin American countries are fighting tax evasion and other illicit financial flows by exploiting the improvements in transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes,” observed María José Garde, Chair of the Global Forum. “In a challenging context, the Punta del Este Declaration supports them in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of domestic resource mobilisation with tangible outcomes.”

Engagement is steadily increasing in the region. The joint efforts of the Global Forum and its partners (Inter-American Centre of Tax Administrations, Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank Group) have significantly contributed to increase political buy-in for the transparency agenda and helped develop capacities within tax administrations.

Progress in the region is reflected by concrete achievements:

  • Thirteen Latin American countries have signed and ratified the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the most comprehensive multilateral instrument available for all forms of tax co-operation to tackle tax evasion and avoidance, thus considerably expanding their EOI relationships networks. Paraguay has signed it and is in the process of depositing its instrument of ratification, at which stage it will become the fourteenth Latin American country to participate in the Convention.

  • Six out of eight jurisdictions reviewed until 2020 under the second round of peer reviews of the exchange of information on request were rated largely compliant, showing that Latin American countries are making important strides in their implementation of the standard, which includes advanced beneficial ownership requirements.

  • Nine countries already participate in the automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI).

The region has been a net sender of EOI requests between 2014 and 2020, with 3 949 requests sent and 2 343 requests received. Since 2014, at least EUR 12 billion in additional revenue (tax, interest and penalties) have been identified in Latin America through voluntary disclosure programmes and offshore tax investigations using EOI.

Solid EOI infrastructures and networks are being built, paving the way for effective exchanges. There are, however, areas for improvement, and most countries in the region are not making full use of EOI. Few requests are being made and AEOI is not yet widely explored. In addition, beneficial ownership determination mechanisms are still in early stages, and countries encounter hindrances in regards to the wider use of exchanged information to tackle other financial crimes.

“We promote the Punta del Este Declaration with the aim of efficiently and jointly combating cross-border tax evasion, corruption and other financial crimes,” said Mercedes Marcó Del Pont, Chair of the Punta del Este Declaration Initiative. “We have a historic opportunity to counteract practices that affect taxation to the detriment of the welfare of our peoples, by promoting international tax co-operation and moving forward on the path of comprehensively strengthening exchange of information.”

Originally signed by four Latin American countries in November 2018, the Punta del Este Declaration now brings 13 jurisdictions together in further advancing the tax transparency agenda and using EOI to fight tax fraud and corruption.

For further information, journalists should contact Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, (+33 1 45 24 91 08) or Zayda Manatta, Head of the Global Forum Secretariat (+33 1 45 24 82 29).


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